Sunday, May 15, 2016

MOVING ON

     Last Saturday we enjoyed a special gathering for Samuel who will return to Uganda in June. His "Farm Uganda" project will enable families to transition from producing enough to live to producing a surplus to sell. Samuel has completed a 3rd year track at Charis Bible College in Colorado. Many of my classmates will return to do a third year next September. Others are moving on after our graduation on May 21st.

     Wherever we are next autumn, each of us has a God-given purpose. It boggles my mind to realize that, with all the billions of people living on this planet, Father God has a specific work for me, and every one of His children, to do in this coming year! As our hearts and minds are open to Him, we can know His good and acceptable and perfect will. (Romans 12:2) And there is joy in the centre of His will.

     I see Samuel's farm land as his place of promise. Like the mountain Caleb (one of the twelve Joshua sent to spy out the promised land) knew was his, we have a spiritual territory to claim. Caleb did not mess around. He said, "Give me this mountain." (Joshua 14:12 KJV) Age is not a factor. He was eighty-five. He overcame everything that withstood him and occupied that land.

    Our Father will open the doors of opportunity to step into the task He's prepared for  each one. It will be a perfect fit, a place of satisfaction and blessing. He's invested time and training and equipped us with a precious deposit of His love and truth to share. Whatever challenges we face, the inheritance He's promised is ours. In that place of trust we can be a help to others on their spiritual quest as we fulfill our part of His great plan,

     The Lord Jesus came to give us His John 10:10 abundant life. I don't pretend to have gotten my head around an understanding of eternity, but I know that life always involves growth. It will be exciting to hear what our classmates are doing, come September, knowing that, with our Saviour, we will be moving on for ever.  

     

Sunday, May 1, 2016

GROWTH

     Everything in this corner of Colorado is covered with snow from another spring storm. Yet under that snow there is new growth. Baby pine cones are developing. Here and there a tiny dandelion is showing yellow beneath all that white stuff. The cones and weeds are not struggling. Given the right conditions, they just grow.

     In things of the spirit, growth and struggle may even work against each other. By faith we receive every good thing from Father God. When we fight for the answer we need, it's easy to slip into expecting our efforts to bring it about. There's a perfect balance in Christ. We do need wisdom to withstand the enemy's doings while keeping our focus on Jesus and what He has already accomplished through His death, burial and resurrection.

      If we look back to the moment we chose to receive Jesus as Lord, every one of us can see positive change. We can rest knowing that He is working in us as we trust Him. Paul said, "He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ... bringing it to full completion." (Philippians 1:6 Amp.) 

     New life begins with a seed. A cone matures and produces seeds. The wind scatters them. Ones that fall on fertile soil will sprout and begin to grow. Jesus said the seed that produces life in believers is the word of God. (Luke 8:11) When our hearts are receptive to the teaching, spiritual growth will happen in us. Even though the first stages of development are hidden, they are happening.

     As desperate as we may be to receive an answer, Father God's desire for each one's need to be met is infinitely greater. Simple faith opens the way. Picture a child asking Mom for a drink. His Mom fills a glass and holds it out to him. Except the child comes to Mom and opens his hand to take the glass she can't quench his thirst.

     Our God is more than willing to supply our need. When we know that and come to Him, open to His goodness and believing, we co-operate with Him and receive. The life He deposits in us grows and produces fruit that nourishes others bringing answers to them. 

     In Hebrews 10:22, 23 we read, "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith...Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;)" (KJV) We can be excited about how far we have come and look forward with joy to what we will be as we trust in Him.